Tasmanian Gaming Commission's annual report for 2007

The Tasmanian Gaming Commission's annual report for 2007 showed that gambling-spend in the territory rose by A$15 million to A$280 million, and this week social welfare groups seized on these statistics to urge the state government to expedite reforms to curb problem gambling, reports Yahoo News Australia.

State Racing Minister Michael Aird says the government is concerned about problem gamblers, but wants to receive more advice from the commission and stakeholders before making any decisions.

But spokesman Chris Jones from Anglicare says there is no need to delay.

"We have some high expectations that government will take action because it's one of the things that we've been able to identify in the past from research about problem gambling is, there needs to be greater regulation," Jones said. "So the government has got the social economic impact report, we actually need to see action based on what's in those reports."

The Tasmanian situation comes in a week where problem gambling concerns have been raised at both federal and state levels in Australia amid calls for investigations and action to ameliorate the threat of problem gambling (see previous InfoPowa reports).

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